Friday, March 8, 2013

Common Core: A Mother's Concerns

Although Karen Bracken's correspondent is obviously concerned about Georgia, the Common Core curriculum is being proposed for use in all schools nationwide...and needs to be rejected by all schools nationwide. Most schools can do (and are doing) better than that. Here is KB's e-mail, edited for formatting and contact information:

"This is VERY VERY sad news. It should indicate to you all that there is more behind the scenes driving this agenda than educating our children. If concern for our children's future was foremost on these elected officials minds there would have been no way this bill would have failed.

Karen

Obama's COMMON CORE STANDARDS IN OUR SCHOOLS NEEDS TO GO!
Senator William Ligon filed SB 167 in Georgia but even after testimony from Mr. Robert Scott from Texas and almost 3 hours of testimony from expert witnesses from all over the nation, including Jane Robbins, with American Principles Project, pointing out that this federal control over curriculum was UNCONSTITUTIONAL, Senator Ligon couldn't muster enough support from the 9-member Senate Committee on Education and Youth to pass this bill out of committee for a floor vote! We the people need to let our voices be heard!

We need the experienced teachers in Georgia to bravely step up and testify as to what they are seeing. We need parents to wake up and understand that the struggle their child is having in school may be due to the curriculum being pushed into our school districts. (read the letter below). Attend your school board meetings and make public comments and push your school board to stand up against this federal control! Call Governor Deal this week and ask him to RESCIND Common Core national standards! 404-656-1776. He can do so with a stroke of a pen.... no legislation required!

Angela Bean
Fayetteville, GA

Please read this letter from a Georgia mom.

A MOM’S CONCERNS ABOUT COMMON CORE NATIONAL STANDARDS CURRICULUM

I am a mother of two amazing little girls ages 8 and 10 and I am extremely concerned about the use of Common Core in our schools. Like many other busy parents, my first introduction to the dramatic changes Common Core Standards would actually impose was at the open house at our children’s school. As the new methods were described, my husband and I quickly became “uncomfortable” and soon noticed that we were not alone. In fact, the majority of parents appeared to be caught off -guard and very surprised as well. Needless to say, we all had a number of questions and concerns particularly about the way our children would now be learning math. At the time I don’t think many of us (teachers included) truly knew what we were getting into – all were assured “this will be a good thing”. However, many were disturbed not only by the format itself, but by the fact that we were just being presented with this information now. No such details had ever been discussed before nor were we ever given the opportunity to openly debate anything regarding this curriculum prior to its implementation. Under the circumstances and left with no other available options, we did our best to approach it with an open mind and tested the waters together. Now, the school year is almost over and our experience with Common Core has been anything BUT good - We are angry and we are worried; and, once again, it would appear that we are not alone.

I believe that parents should have the strongest voice in their child’s education – not bureaucrats. I believe our educational system should be accountable to Georgia tax-payers and Georgia parents – not Washington. And I strongly believe it is wrong and extremely disturbing for the Executive branch to embrace a federal grant that fundamentally changes classroom goals and teaching strategies for our children without fully vetting everything with our local communities and duly elected representatives in the legislature. Whether this decision came from the Governor’s Office or The Department of Education, whoever made it had no constitutional right to dictate this horrible top-down approach to the education of our children and it must not be allowed to continue.

As more information became available about Common Core, I found the volume of contention surrounding it to be even more alarming. As a parent, I have a responsibility to be my children’s advocate and put their best interests first. Therefore, I decided to connect with other parents within our schools community in hopes of opening up a dialogue and sharing information. What happened next was almost as shocking as the Common Core controversy itself – I was called to the Principle’s office. To my amazement, the Principal of my children’s school expressed more of an interest in her disapproval of my contacting other parents and sharing information than in the now exposed flaws of the curriculum. In her words, she stated that she “wanted to make sure I wasn’t starting some kind of grassroots movement” and informed me that I was not to utilize any of the parents email address from our school or question any of the teachers regarding their professional opinions as educators about anything regarding Common Core. She then supported this by explaining that she and the staff were employees of the state and therefore their loyalties, efforts, support and unwavering commitment would be to implementing this curriculum regardless of how good or bad it may be. I don’t think there is even a word to describe how mortified I was to know that the top priorities of my children’s head educator were not dedicated to the quality of their education nor to the concerns of their parents but rather to satisfying the desires of bureaucrats in Washington – I found this to be extremely chilling.

In short, Common Core is flawed on too many levels to describe here. Not only is it destroying the achievement standards of our students and dumbing down our entire educational system but in its wake it is also leaving our budgets destroyed, our schools non-transparent, our privacy violated, and our children frustrated and confused. According to many experts, our children will now be 2 years behind in math. Algebra is pushed to 9th grade, division postponed to 6th grade and multiplication delayed until 5th grade! In the past, my second grader would have moved on to multiplication this year. However she spent the entire year going backwards and “re-learning” how to add and subtract via Common Core. Instead of adding the ones first, carrying the tens and so on, she now had to learn how to add and subtract by grouping the highest denomination of ten first and working backwards. For example the sum of 17 + 14 is now determined by grouping all of the 10’s first and then adding the 1’s.

The work they need to show looks something like this:

17 + 14 = ?

10 +10 = 20 ( group the 10’s and add them first)

7 + 4 = 11 (next, add the 1’s – but 11 can be divided into another grouping of ten so…)

10 + 1 (revise the grouping made my adding 7 + 4 to reflect the additional grouping of 10)

20 +10 + 1 ( the equation now becomes this: all of the 10’s + all of the 1’s)

or

10 + 10 + 10 + 1

30 + 1 = 31

It is cumbersome, it is confusing and it is absurd! They have spent the entire year going backwards and grouping every which way to Sunday without ever moving on. Each time a new strategy is introduced, it is so complicated and confusing it not only brings many of the children to tears, but the school needs to send home a detailed instruction sheet so the parents of second graders can help their children learn to add and subtract. It’s insane!

In closing, please understand me when I say, it is imperative that we do everything in our power to remove Common Core from our schools immediately.
Concerned Parent

Kennesaw, GA

Karen Bracken - I WILL NOT COMPLY - WILL YOU?

The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests”- Patrick Henry

To fix "THE SYSYEM" We must become "THE SYSTEM" - k. bracken
"The change we seek has always required great struggle and great sacrifice." - Barack Hussein Obama
"The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master." - Ayn Rand "